The end of the month is only a few days away, so for those people participating in National Novel Writing Month, the question is this: are you going to hit 50,000 words by Thursday at midnight, thus giving you a successful 'month of writing dangerously'?
For me, I'm lucky enough to say the answer is yes. I became a winner yesterday, completing the last 4,000 words I needed to hit the magical 50K mark. It was exhausting. My story started as one thing and managed to morph into something quite different, and I'm not really sure that I mean that in a good way. But despite sitting here almost a month ago declaring that I didn't care if I became a winner as long as I wrote everyday, I got an incredibly poor, wandering, void-of-dialoge, most of a first draft done in just 27 days.
It's madness. And so if I do decide to participate in the future, now that I've done this twice I have a much better idea of what my writing needs if I really want to feel successful at the end of the month.
1. Plan ahead! Coming up with an idea two days before just doesn't work with me. I've been writing fiction now for several years - I am without a doubt a planner, not a pantster.
2. Set a daily goal. It doesn't have to be a word count (in fact, maybe it shouldn't be because for me, tangents are much more common when I just need to get to the next number). Say "I want to finish this scene today" or "I can't stop/take a break until I've introduced this character."
3. Write (almost) every day. I want to say everyday, but I can honestly say that since I finished my draft yesterday, there's no way I'm going back to look at it tonight or for a while. Nor should I feel guilty for not writing on things like national holidays. A person cannot be "on" 24/7 - breaks aren't bad. Permanent breaks are. Just keep writing a priority and let people know that, too, so they don't infringe on your 'hobby time' or whatever.
So that's how I'm feeling about NaNoWriMo 2012. Will I be back for it in 2013? That's anyone's guess...
And here's a video I made expressing my joy =)
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading.